Updated Mon, Sep 03, 2012 by Messiah
UI Mods are an important part of the game for all classes in World of Warcraft, however, they are even more important for the hybrid classes in the game. When you are playing a hybrid class like a Paladin, because you can fill so many different roles in the game, you are in need of more add-ons than most other classes.
When looking at UI mods, or add-ons as they are also called, there are several different types of mods that we are going to look at. The types of UI mods that I really look at and focus on for any class are firstly the interface changing mods that make it easier to see components of the UI on the screen or to move them around to fit your play style. I next look at data type mods that provide more information than the basic UI normally provides. Lastly I look for UI mods that take things that are already in the game and make them simpler to do.
Keep in mind that UI mods change constantly, and many mods that are useful right now may not be worth having during the next patch cycle. This could be due to mechanic changes, game changes, or simply because Blizzard has added a similar function into the core UI.
If you are in need of help getting UI mods installed I would suggest looking at the guide here: Installing WoW UI Mods.
Maybe even better yet is checking out Spark as it manages and installs all of your IO Mods for you.
With all that in mind, let's look at what I believe are the current best UI mods out there for a Paladin.
This is my favourite UI mod out there. It takes the stock party, raid, and target frames from the game and throws them out to start from scratch. The frames are all completely adjustable, resizable, position-able, and more. Pretty much anything you could want to do with the interface, you can pretty much do.
Some of the things that I especially like are some of the simple things like players in your party or raid that get agro glowing red, being able to move all your frames including focus, targets focus, and how many healers are on a player. Then there are some things that just can’t be found in the normal interface like putting up and keeping track of your target’s target’s target!
This is a great UI for any class or spec, but I find it especially useful for Tanks and DPS. For healers there is a better option, coming up next.
This is the Interface mod that I use when healing. It offers a wonderfully easy to use interface that makes healing far easier. With it you can bind all sorts of different heals to different mouse clicks, and then use the heal that you want by using that mouse click while hovering over the frame that represents the player you want to heal. This makes it a lot easier to heal because you can then heal different players with each heal you cast without having to click to select that player first.
This simple thing makes it far faster to switch heal targets because you are down to single clicks rather than two clicks. For healing as a Paladin you really should give this a shot. If you are even more adventurous you can try another UI mode that is very similar called Grid, I find it a little too much effort to get configured correctly though.
This is another great addon for paladins that are focusing on healing. While Grid and Healbot are old favourites, VuhDo is a newer mod than the other two but has rapidly gained popularity due to a lot of features that it manages to put into one addon rahter than needing separate ones.
It allows complete management of all your casting including healing, decursing, assits, focuses, and more. It allows up to 40 different bindings to mouse clicks including macros and items, you can also assign 16 keys to bind for mouse over casting. It also alows you to control raid setup from its interface rather than having a separate mod required. In addition it allows you to track all your buffs and rebuffs through it.
Overall in many ways I like it better than the older mods that I used, especialy since the configuration screens are so easy to use with VuhDo. It really comes down to which you like and what works for you though.
One area WoW has always been light on is the action bar modification. Most games allow for moving bars, adding bars, but WoW is fairly limited unless modified. Using Bartender4, players can move every bar of the UI including bag bars, pet bars, stance bars, experience bar, yes all of it. Using this mod allows for resizing of the buttons and whether they are vertical or horizontal as well.
While it takes a little while to learn the in's and out's of using Bartender4 once you do learn to set it up you will be left wondering how you got on without it. You can setup 10 different action bars (more than you would ever need), stance bars, pet bars, bag bars, and more. Basically if you have every thought to yourself, "I wish I could have the buttons setup this way", you can with Bartender4.
This is a great addon for anyone that plays in the arenas. It is very much like the above UI Mods but focused entirely on PvP utility. It provides a very simple and clean frame that shows your enemies. It has several additional PvP utility features such as tracking who is on what target, what the current state of diminishing returns are on the enemy, and more. If you PvP in the arenas, this is a must.
This add-on provides a lot of data about almost everything in the game. It allows you to see your DPS, healing per second, interrupts, and much more. While a lot can be said either for or against this add-on I really believe it is a must for all players. If you do not have something that gives you an idea of how you are doing and a way to track your performance from one run to another then there is no way you can improve.
So without an add-on like Recount, anything you did try to improve without hard and fast numbers as a point of comparison would just be guessing. The big risk with Recount though, is that you take the numbers too seriously. Always remember that numbers do not represent everything - there are always things that need to be considered when looking at them - so don’t forget this.
This mod helps you to track your position on the threat list of an enemy. While threat is not as big a deal as it was in previous expansions, it can still be an issue if the DPS players are better geared than the tank. Also, it is always a good idea to know where you are even if you are not close, or if you are a tank it is critical to know how much of a head start you have on threat and when you need to push it a bit more. If you are a DPS player or Tank player this is an absolute must for you to have installed and to watch when you are fighting instance or raid bosses. If you are a healer, you are probably not worried about being close to the top, but do want to know who is about to pull threat and may need a heal.
What really needs to be said about this addon. Playerscore provides a whole lot of useful data. It lets you see what other score you have in several different core catagories such as gear, raid, pvp, and more. While you don't really want to rely strictly on someones gear score to make an assesment of them, looking at thier overall scores gives you a good idea of where they are in the game. Better yet you can find all the data online as well, even while out of the game, and compare yourself against other players.
This is an addon that makes cleansing a whole lot easier and simplier. It does this by alerting you whenever something happens to a player that you can cleanse and then allowing you to click on a single icon or use a bound macro to remove it from them. This makes it a lot easier to ensure that debuffs come off players much faster than watching every single player in the group or raid.
It also allows you to set priority on who you want cleansed first so that you always get what you want off first. When used in PvP you can also set it to ignore certain abilities so that you do not trigger off negative side effects from removing debuffs that then hurt you. In PvE it's useful to set ignores for things like silences on non-casters.
This is a mod that I really like since I rarely get a chance to DPS all that often as I normally tank. The Retribution rotation is not a real rotation but more a set of priories that you should follow to maximize your DPS. This addon simply displays your abilities as icons and makes the one that is best to use at the time larger. You still have to use that ability from your button bar, but it is a great reminder on what you should be using.
This is an addon that makes it simplier to taunt of players that pull threat from you. It adds a display showing each players name and health and highlights them orange if they are pulling threat and red if they have grabbed threat. While it is configurable there is almost no need to set anything up since you can simply use the default setup very easily.
It is usable by any class but when used by a Paladin the default settings are pretty easy to get used to. To use any of the abilities you just need to click on the players icon that you want to taunt off of. If you left click you cast hand of reconing, if you right click us casts righteous defense, and if you hold control and click it then casts hand of protection.
Sure you can taunt and use all of these abilities manually, but this just makes it so much simplier, especially if you are playing alot or switching between a lot of characters.
Deadly Boss Mod is a tool that no player should be without. It provides a huge advantage to players in almost every single boss encounter in the game. It gives you timers and warnings for boss events so that you are aware of everything coming up in the fight. You can even get it to show you timers in battlegrounds so that you know when towers or flags are going to be captured.
Quartz is an ability timer addon that lets you setup many different casting bar like displays that show all sorts of useful information. The most important for many players though is its ability to display count down cast bars showing when debuffs will drop off your target or focus. This makes it much easier to time your attacks so that you can re-apply dots, slows, debufs when it is most appropriate rather than just guessing.
Quartz has a lot of other great featurs and can be used by almost any class to great effect, but for me at least it is almost all about watching for debuffs leaving enemies.
This was a huge add-on previously as it made managing your paladin buffs far easier. However, given the current state of Paladin buffs it is not really needed any more. As a tank it has the added feature of being able to watch and make sure you have your threat buff up, but we should never ever forget that, should we? If it makes you feel better having a reminder for buffs though, go for it, at least that way you really should never forget.
Have your own idea of which UI mods are best? Make sure you chime in and comment below.